Leah Denbok

Photographs & Stories of the Homeless

Spend a little time talking to Leah Denbok and you’ll quickly realize that she is a special person. While not saying the words out loud, she will also let you know that this story isn’t about her, it is about hope. It is about healing. It is about helping those who for whatever reason have met hard times head on.

This work of passion is about humanizing those experiencing homelessness.

Leah Denbok

For the past three years, Leah and her father Tim have been on the road visiting cities across Canada and the United States taking pictures of the homeless and more importantly, taking the time to talk to them to hear their stories.

Nowhere To Call Home – Photographs & Stories of the Homeless, Volume One is making quite a statement around the world.

The CBC produced a documentary about Leah’s photography. The BBC aired a story about Leah and her work. Leah was a special guest at ArtWalk New York and has been a guest speaker at the Women of the World Festival in Australia. She even shared the stage with Prince Harry at WE Day in Toronto.

Leah Denbok is still a teenager. Imagine what accomplishments are waiting for her down the road.

Collingwood can burst at the seams with pride knowing that this thoughtful, humane, caring, and incredibly talented person calls this place home.

Leah Denbok continues to share her stories and showcase her photography, most recently at Barrie’s Grace United Church on Tuesday February 6th. Denbok’s exhibition is currently on display at the Church on Grove Street in Barrie for the month of February.

Previously, Leah and Tim held a book signing and gallery showcase at the Collingwood Public Library on Wednesday December 6th.

Leah said at first when she started photographing homeless individuals it was just for artistic reasons, but that soon changed.

“Eventually my dad and I began to really realize the reality of homelessness and how big of a problem it really is. So we decided to compile the photographs I had taken and to write down the stories of these individuals as well and to put everything together into a series of books.”

When Leah and her father see a person who is experiencing homelessness, they introduce themselves, explain the project details and objectives of creating the book and then ask if they would like to have their photograph taken for ten dollars. Most say yes and are willing to sign a consent form.

“I find that these are very humble and kind people. I think people quite often have a negative opinion of homeless people but from talking to these individuals I have learned that they don’t really want to be in the situation they’re in.”

Leah says these individuals have fallen victim to a lack of support from both family and community.

Proceeds from volume one book sales go to the Barrie Bayside Mission Centre while proceeds from the sale of the canvas works displayed in the Collingwood Library going to Home Horizons in Collingwood.

Soon, Nowhere To Call Home – Photographs & Stories of the Homeless, Volume Two will be complete and ready for sale.

When you see a homeless person on the street, don’t look away as if they aren’t really there, say hello, engage in conversation. Who knows. Your act of kindness might just be the positive motivation that person needs to face the day in a better way.

Take some time to visit Leah Denbok’s web site:


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